In the Berkshires, crustacean availability is somewhat limited. It's easy to find shrimp in various sizes and lobsters but it's rare to find a fishmonger who sells prawns. Prawns are much larger than shrimp and, whereas shrimp live in saltwater, prawns live in fresh or brackish water. Prawns are sold with the heads attached, making for a nice rustic presentation. You can make my recipe with white wine, beer or clam juice. My favorite is beer which makes an incredibly flavorful sauce combined with the butter, oil and spices.
4 large prawns
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 cup onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
Pinch of saffron
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 teaspoon turmeric
3/4 cup beer, white wine or clam juice
2 tablespoons fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
In a large sauté pan, melt the butter. Add the oil and onion and sauté until the onion is soft and translucent.
Add the garlic, saffron, crushed red pepper and turmeric and continue sautéing for 2 minutes until the garlic is soft but not browned.
Slowly pour in the beer taking care that it does now foam up and continue cooking on low heat for 2 minutes until the sauce has slightly reduced and thickened a bit.
Add the prawns to the pan in a single layer and cook over medium heat until they are opaque - about 8 minutes, turning the prawns over halfway through.
Serve in bowls with lots of crusty bread to soak up the delicious juices.
These prawns are also delicious when served with french fries.